State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
I am very pleased to learn that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled a tape recording capturing Milwaukee Public Schools bus driver Brian Duchow’s statements as he abused a boy with Down syndrome could be used in court. The boy’s parents, suspecting he was being threatened and abused, placed a tape recorder in their son’s backpack.
Duchow’s conviction in a Milwaukee County Circuit Court was overturned by an appellate court that ruled the tape recording should have been inadmissible. The state Supreme Court has now ruled the tape recording was allowable.
I have been very close to this case, working with the boy’s parents on a bill I authored on school bus safety that became law in 2004.
Here is more background from the Attorney General’s office and an article about the case from the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.
DATCP is the state agency responsible for food safety, animal and plant health, protecting water and soil and monitoring fair and safe business practices.
Read their warning here.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says flood victims in five Wisconsin counties, including Milwaukee County could receive tax relief.
Here is more information from the IRS.
So far, only a handful of states have decided to raise taxes to address their budgets.
The 2007-09 Wisconsin budget that I voted against that was signed into law increased taxes. So did the budget repair bill that I voted against.
it is unfortunate that Wisconsin has failed to follow the path taken by most other states and reject tax increases during tough budget times.
Stateline has the story.
One of the biggest concerns I have blogged about and discussed extensively as I travel throughout Senate District 28 is Wisconsin’s propensity to lose our high-income level citizens and many of our best and brightest to other states. We can point fingers at the weatherman but the taxman shoulders much of the blame.
During November 2005, the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance issued a very troubling report entitled, "Moving In, Moving on: Migration in Wisconsin." During the five years prior to the 2000 census, almost 669,000 people either moved to or out of Wisconsin. However, the net in-migration into Wisconsin was a meager 7,282.
Individuals with college or advanced degrees were more likely to leave, while those with less education tended to come. Individuals with household incomes above $75,000 left Wisconsin. Those with incomes of $200,000 or more had the highest rates of leaving.
The huge exodus of wealthy Wisconsinites leaving the state caused a loss of an estimated $4.72 billion in net worth and a loss of $455 million in income over the five years of this study.
During November 2007, USA TODAY reported that Americans are moving across state lines at the highest rate since the early 1990s. U.S, Census Bureau data shows lots of people are moving, but not to Wisconsin that ranks at number 45 among the states, with 1.9 percent of the state’s population in 2006 having moved here from another state.
Arthur Laffer, president of Laffer Associates and Stephen Moore, senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial board confirm that high taxing and spending have had a negative impact on Wisconsin’s ability to compete and cause many people to relocate elsewhere. Laffer and Moore wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Five of the states near the bottom of our competitiveness ratings -- Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and Wisconsin -- have enacted major tax increases in the last two years. Maryland and Michigan just raised business and income taxes on upper-income earners, while arguing that raising the cost of doing business will attract more businesses. More likely it will induce companies to stay away, and people to move out.”
The latest USA TODAY analysis of Census data shows 35 states, including Wisconsin lost population during 2007 in the age category 25-44. Wisconsin’s population in that age bracket dropped by five percent last year.
William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution tells USA TODAY that older industrial states are facing the loss of the younger, high-fertility workers.
In Massachusetts, that suffered a 9.6 percent drop in its 25-44 population, the research director at MassINC, a non-partisan think tank in Boston, Dana Ansel made an understatement when she told USA TODAY, "Losing people in their prime working years is not positive."
The new USA TODAY analysis fails to offer specific details why states like Wisconsin are losing workers aged 25-44 but my suspicion is that economics plays a vital role. That all goes back to our high level of taxing and spending.
Please read the USA TODAY article and my blog on this issue, “Taxes go up, people move out.”